Gone Again

Gone Again by Doug Johnstone Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Gone Again by Doug Johnstone Read Free Book Online
Authors: Doug Johnstone
Tags: Crime Fiction
official missing person report, if you want.’
    ‘Yes, definitely.’
    ‘We’ll need to get lots of details from you.’
    ‘Like what?’
    ‘A list of friends and family, places your wife might frequent, financial details, car registration, phone number, email accounts, everything.’
    ‘Not a problem.’
    ‘And we’ll need a couple of recent photographs and a DNA sample.’
    ‘A sample?’
    ‘Her toothbrush or hairbrush maybe.’
    ‘Oh. OK.’
    ‘And we need consent to search your home.’
    ‘Standard procedure.’
    Mark drew his fingers like a pincer across his eyes. ‘Sure. Fine.’
    He felt a hand on his arm. Everyone was always trying to comfort him. He didn’t feel comforted.
    ‘Look,’ Ferguson said. ‘Why don’t we go there first? I’m sure there’s nothing to worry about. For all you know, she might be at home wondering where you are.’
    Mark shook his head. He knew there wasn’t a hope in hell that was true.

    It was intrusive, having a stranger rummaging through their stuff. Abusive, somehow. Lauren wouldn’t like it.  
    They rarely had people round to the flat these days. Since Nathan was born and everything that Lauren went through afterwards, the opportunities for socialising had withered. Friends moved away, all of them focusing on their own lives, setting up their little shells, safe from the outside world.
    And now here was a police officer, a woman barely out of her teens, going from room to room. Mark saw the place through her eyes, the worn patches on the hall carpet, the dust bunnies under Nathan’s bed, the burnt food stains on the old cooker. It was like putting their whole lives on display, a personal museum exhibition.
    Ferguson didn’t appear to know what she was doing. Picking things up, putting them back again. She stopped at some pictures stuck to the fridge by magnets, flipped over a postcard.
    This was useless. Shouldn’t they be out looking for Lauren?
    Ferguson sauntered through the flat, Mark trailing behind. She went into the couple’s bedroom. Opened and shut the bedside drawers. Rennies and paracetamol on his side. A couple of books on Lauren’s, Pelecanos and Leonard. He could never be bothered to read. Easier to watch the films when they came out.
    Ferguson went to the wardrobe. Mark remembered the Browning and the old grass tin, felt a weight descend on him, his eyelids suddenly heavy. No licence, never any licence, the pistol liberated after the war by his grandad. Not handed in after Dunblane either. Stupid, but there you are.
    He didn’t want the gun to become a sideshow, a distraction from the search for Lauren.
    Ferguson was flicking through Lauren’s blouses, skirts and dresses.
    Mark approached and stood close to her.
    ‘I don’t think there are any clothes missing, if that’s what you’re looking for.’
    She turned to him. ‘Just background, really, Mr Douglas.’
    ‘Call me Mark.’ He edged towards the drawers. ‘Did you say something about needing financial statements?’
    ‘Please. Any bank accounts, savings plans, mortgage, life assurance, all that.’
    Mark hesitated. ‘OK, I’ll go and dig that stuff out. Do you want a coffee? You can wait in the living room if you like.’
    ‘Coffee would be great.’
    Ferguson opened Lauren’s underwear drawer. Shuffled some panties around at the front. Closed it. Then she opened his drawer. Did the same. Pushed it closed.
    She missed it.
    ‘Are you OK, Mr Douglas?’
    Mark was standing holding the wardrobe door, eyes closed. ‘Fine.’
    ‘I realise how stressful this is for you, but the police are here to help.’
    ‘I know.’
    She closed the wardrobe doors, Mark lowering his hand.
    ‘Now, let’s get that coffee and go through the paperwork, shall we?’
    She led him out of the room.
    Mark switched the kettle on and went rooting for files. Flicked through and found all the stuff. Brought it back and handed it over. Gave Ferguson a description of Lauren’s car, number

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